Beans, beans, the wonderful fruit…..

It’s been crazy busy around here preparing for Christmas.  There is still so much to do and so little time.

I never did get all my Thanksgiving recipes posted but I thought I’d share this one we really, really liked. Maybe it will find its way on your Christmas dinner table, this year.

Did you know green beans are actually botanically considered a fruit? Just like tomatoes, okra, bell peppers…… They are!

And that they have the same health benefits as other beans such as kidney, pinto, navy or lima beans?

Trying to get more veggies, nutrition, fiber in your diet?

We always are.  Well some of us.  Others don’t care for many vegetables so we are constantly trying new preparations to make them go over better.

The major health benefit of  beans is their ability to lower cholesterol due to
their rich source of fiber.  And who couldn’t use a little more fiber in their diet? Studies have shown that the high fiber contained in beans prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after eating, too. Also high in B6, magnesium and antioxidants then toss in some fresh herbs and nuts and what could be better?

This made the winners list and on to the Thanksgiving table this year. We’ve never been big fans of the traditional green bean casserole, youngest daughter has always had an aversion to cream of anything soups… Of course, that is probably because she has always have an issue with dairy and we didn’t know…. But now we know and we also know even more bad things about canned soups.

Anyway….

I *love* green beans. Anyway you cook them, whether they are the *Cooked to Death* as we refer to Nana’s green beans, where we sauté up some diced onion with ham, bacon, or even just bacon fat, then simmer away in chicken stock/water for hours, toss in some baby potatoes for the last half hour and devour.  We don’t eat these for the vitamins but for the comfort they provide. Yum.

Some of us also like to just steam or blanche them lightly, toss with a small amount of butter and a sprinkling of sea salt.

But this new recipe tops them all! Not only the flavor but it’s one that can be finished at the very last-minute, be hot and not get soggy waiting on the rest of dinner to finish. High in fiber, gluten-free and as low in sodium as you choose, it’s a winner, winner, turkey dinner kind of dish!

Green Beans with Almonds and Thyme

2 lbs of (fresh or frozen) green beans, trimmed

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon garlic salt (or less)

2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or more!)

1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted, (who doesn’t love almonds? I keep a bag of slivers in the freezer for cooking)

Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until just past crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes, we are looking to just get past that raw green taste. Drain the beans and transfer them to a large bowl of ice water, cooling them completely. The ice water will shock them and stop their cooking. Drain the beans well. At this point you can make the beans a day ahead and store in refrigerator or continue on.

Alternatively you could steam the beans for 5 minutes and proceed directly to the skillet.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Whisk in half of the fresh thyme (1 Tbsp), the Dijon mustard and garlic salt into the butter. Add the beans to the skillet and toss until heated through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and the remaining 1 Tbsp of thyme.

Serves 8 or 4, depends on who is eating.

Let me know if you give these a try, I’ll be right over!

Cheers!

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